The main worry people seem to have with online surveys is being scammed or some sort of online fraud.
I can understand the fear – fraud and identity theft are common on the web. You may have all too personal experience.
Sadly, where there’s money online there’s scammers. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t lots of legitimate and safe sites that do pay. You can read about them here.
What does an online survey scam look like?
Scam survey sites will do their best to look like the real thing – including promises to pay you. This can make it hard to initially judge if a site is bodge or a proper survey site.
However rather than provide questions for market research, scam sites will try and solicit your data from you to use against you. They won’t just ask for your opinions, they’ll ask for personal data which they can piece together to help rip you off or impersonate you. Or they simply try to trick you to paying them.
Don’t fear though – by taking some simple precautions you can avoid falling victim.
Here’s what to look out for…
How to avoid a survey scam site
1. Never ever pay to join up
Real sites never ask for money to join. Any site that does should ring alarm bells. Legit sites only ask for details needed to pay you and only in that context. If a site asks for money, or more details than they need to pay you or make entering bank details a mandatory part of signing up then bail.
2. Avoid providing details by email
Legitimate sites will send you emails. They will not ask you to to provide or confirm details or information over email.
If in doubt then look on the site to find a way to contact them (like a proper phone number) and check they did send that email.
3. Don’t fall for get rich quick claims
Paid surveys will reward you with money. They won’t mean you can quit your day job. Any site that promises riches is not kosher.
4. Research sites before you join
If the site isn’t listed here, then I can’t guarantee it’s safe to use. For any site you intend to sign up with do some research and see if there are reviews or horror stories.
Also check if there are any sites named similar to the site you’re looking to join – this can be a sneaky way for scammers to trick you into thinking you’ve stumbled upon the real site.
5. Think about what your asked to tell
Unless you’ve specifically requested something, there are some things that survey sites simply wont ask you via email.
Survey sites will email you about new surveys but they won’t ask you questions that way. If you’re asked to answer something via email never provide any of:
- your password
- your credit card number
- answers to you secret questions
Avoid sites that ask you for any of this.
Don’t be scared off using paid survey sites but do be aware of the risks. By taking these precautions you can avoid being scammed and ensure any information you provide is kept and used safely.
Find all my online survey tips here.